The federal government owns 85% of Nevada, 57% of Utah, 53% of Oregon, 45% of California, 42% of Wyoming, and 37% of Colorado. That's just for starters. Federal lands add up to 30% of the territory of the United States. The Bureau of Land Management and the National Forest Service combined manage 446 million acres, or 70% of the total. Both of these departments should be gradually eliminated. Their lands should be divided and disbursed to state governments, county governments, and thousands of private homesteaders with generous conditions.
This sounds radical, but it's the most conservative thing in the world. Massive federal land ownership in the western states is what's radical. The feds own 65% of the land west of Denver and 2% of the land east of Denver. There is no excuse for it. State and local governments are perfectly capable of managing public lands, when public ownership is necessary, and that determination should be left to the people who live there. But the more important issue is that, due to the federal land monopoly, many otherwise productive and intelligent citizens are denied the opportunity to possess and develop land of their own. Due to this highly unnatural and, yes, unjust arrangement we westerners are treated as aliens in our own country.
But there are signs of progress. Faux "environmentalists" bent on creating a planet unfit for human habitation are engaged in their usual temper tantrums because (among other things) an extremely modest bill in Congress proposes to allow the western states to obtain ownership of 5% of federal lands within their borders. They have yet to explain why a state like Vermont, with 83% of its forested land in private hands, ranks as the "greenest state" in America; or why Connecticut, with federal land ownership at 0.4%, ranks as the 6th "greenest state".
I trust that proponents of political subsidiarity, economic liberty, constitutionalism, and Catholic social doctrine will find themselves allied on this point, no?